New York is a business epicenter, one of the world’s great cities.
A recent report shows that 2.2 million small businesses operate in this city, accounting for 99.8% of all businesses. It’s also one of the financial powerhouses in the country, with a high GDP of approximately $1.56 trillion.
To make it in New York you need to build a strong network that extends beyond just professionals in your industry.
There are plenty of opportunities to advance your career and business in this city, you just have to get out there and connect with others.
Navigating the bustling and vibrant business scene and knowing where to start can be overwhelming. You need to understand the dynamics of the city and use them to prepare for networking events.
Here are expert tips for networking in New York to help you succeed.
1: Define Your Networking Goals
Before you start seeking new connections, you must define your networking goals. Here are some questions to help you set goals.
- Who are the professionals you want to connect with?
- Which industry do you want to venture into?
- Are you aiming to expand your client base or start a new business?
- Which upcoming events are you looking for?
- What unique business opportunities does New York offer?
Having defined networking goals will help you create a robust business professional networking strategy.
Your goals will act as your networking blueprint for your venture into New York and help you establish a solid network of people with the same interests and goals.
Whether you intend to connect with other professionals by attending networking events or participating in speed networking, your goals should be your guiding principles. They should be realistic, achievable, measurable, relevant, time-bound, and specific.
2: Utilize Co-Working Spaces
Working from home has its fair share of perks, such as flexibility and spending more time with family. However, you still need to go out there and connect with other professionals.
With the average cost of renting an office in New York at $56.67 per square foot, having your own office may be out of reach. No need to worry, though, New York has hundreds of modern co-working spaces that you can use to not only work but also interact with other professionals.
Identifying these spots can be challenging for a new New Yorker. Leverage platforms such as WeWork to find ideal co-working spaces in your area.
3: Attend Networking Events
We strongly believe that every business starts with people, and New York has no shortage of ambitious, well-educated, talented, and experienced professionals across all industries.
One of the sure ways of networking with professionals in this city is by attending networking events that are relevant to your niche and resonate with your goals.
Some of the upcoming networking events in New York are:
- New York Tech Career Fair - December 1st, 2023 (Doubletree by Hilton Hotel 350 W 40th St New York City, NY 10018)
- TABNET Business Networking Event - November 30th, 2023 (821 1st Avenue, New York, NY 10017 )
- NY Real Estate Entrepreneur Mixer - November 16th, 2023 (550 Vanderbilt Ave 550 Vanderbilt Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11238)
- NYREM Business Expo/ Black Men Brunch - December 2nd, 2023 (Major R. Owens Health & Wellness Community Center1561 Bedford Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11225)
Check the location and details of the networking event to decide if it's worth attending. Expand your network by attending events related to your industry and other events held in your area, such as community cleanups.
4: Explore Cultural Institutions
Networking shouldn’t be limited to official events like conferences and trade fairs. In fact, some of the best connections happen in social gatherings and outside normal working areas.
New York is a vibrant city with no shortage of cultural venues you can visit during the weekend. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Lincoln Center and MoMA are three of the best cultural spaces known for their unique networking opportunities.
Plan to regularly attend the events held in these venues to connect with other professionals in a relaxed and culturally enriching setting. Check their respective websites and social media pages for details of their upcoming events and entry fees.
5: Build Authentic Connections
Networking in New York is vibrant and exposes professionals to different opportunities. Like other cities teeming with diverse professionals, authentic stands out. Networking here goes beyond the exchange of fun business pleasantries; be open-minded and take the time to form deep connections.
We recommend using a digital business card instead of a paper business card. With most people in New York being tech savvy, a sleek digital business card will show the other person you have embraced innovations. It will also make you more memorable and interest them in knowing what you do.
Engage in meaningful conversations at the networking event and follow up with new connections. Listen attentively and show genuine interest in what they do to encourage them to share more about their profession and business.
Leave a lasting impression by sharing your aspirations and achievements as an entrepreneur during one-on-one meetings and group speed networking events.
Also, chance and random encounters can lead to valuable connections. Make the most out of New York’s bustling public transport system to engage in casual conversations with other people while commuting on the subway.
6: Attend Tech and Innovation Hubs
The best way to grow and get a firm footing in the New York business scene is by embracing technology.
Even though tech companies have websites with information about their products and services, experiencing the products first-hand and interacting with the experts will give you a better understanding of how they work and why you should embrace them.
Take time off to explore neighborhoods such as Silicon Alley in Manhattan or the Brooklyn Tech Triangle. These areas host events, workshops, and meetups specific to innovation and technology. They are excellent hubs for meeting new tech gurus and professionals.
7: Be A Giver, Not Just a Taker
The name of the game in the networking world is reciprocity. Networking is not a one-way street. Be willing to offer business support, expertise, and resources to the people in your industry network.
By being generous with your time and knowledge, you will build a reputation as a valuable and reliable contact. It will also show new connections that you are genuinely interested in becoming their friends and supporting their businesses' growth.
The more valuable information and advice you offer to members of your network, the more you're likely to receive in return. Remember this important network-building hack the next time you attend a networking event in New York.
8: Join Social Clubs
To advance your career, you need to be bold enough to break from your comfort zone and get your feet wet. Joining high-end social clubs will give you privileged access to a community of influential and high-profile individuals, movers and shakers in your different industries.
Some of the top social clubs in New York are:
- Soho House New York
- The Metropolitan Club
- Aman New York
- Casa Cipriani
- Zero Bond
These clubs often host networking events and provide a more professional and personal setting for making valuable connections.
9: Embrace Online Networking Platforms
Unlike before, corporate executives are active on social media platforms like LinkedIn. They use these platforms to share information about the industry, for marketing, and to network with like-minded people.
Embracing online networking platforms and attending live networking events will expand your network. The virtual meetup events will connect you with like-minded designers and entrepreneurs in Manhattan and neighboring areas.
10: Follow-Up and Nurture Connections
The secret to successfully networking in New York is attending events, making initial connections, and following up to create a solid partnership with the potential client or business associate.
After the event, send a personalized follow-up message to express your gratitude for the opportunity to connect and reiterate the key points you discussed at the event. Maintain contact through emails, occasional meetups, and by joining professional forums.
The point is that consistently nurturing relationships with new companies and leadership teams will solidify your network and keep you on top of their minds when opportunities arise.
New York offers many networking events that you can leverage to connect with industry leaders and customers. Attend events that align with your goals and career to get the most results.
Stand out from the other attendees at the networking event by using a digital business card to share your contact details and business information. Our cards have custom designs and a scannable QR code that you can use to share your information seamlessly.
If you forget your card, you can still connect with other NYC professionals by sharing your details using the Popl mobile app, ensuring no networking opportunity goes to waste.
Create your digital business card today and watch your network grow exponentially.